Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

WEB NEWS

Brazil's presidential election seen from the web

Read more

WEB NEWS

Ivory Coast launches the "Soap Bucket Challenge"

Read more

#TECH 24

Anonymous Vs ISIS

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Ebola virus: US to send 3,000 troops to West Africa

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Nigeria attack: Bomb blast in college in Kano

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Ebola: Lockdown brings Sierra Leone capital to a halt

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Sarkozy's political comeback: did he ever leave?

Read more

DEBATE

The World This Week

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

Travel chaos: Air France pilots take industrial action

Read more

We explore the digital revolution and check out the latest technological trends. Every Saturday at 2.45 pm Paris time.

#TECH 24

#TECH 24

Latest update : 2011-03-03

The debate over 'Net Neutrality'

The internet has long been a bastion of open communication where information flows freely. That era may soon come to an end as more governments consider placing new restrictions on the exchange of data. This week on Tech 24: the debate over "Net Neutrality".

For billions of people around the world, the internet is now an indispensible tool that plays a vital role in their daily lives. The ability to easily and quickly access information from almost anywhere and communicate by text, audio or video messages with anyone connected to the network is largely taken for granted. Just how all those bits of data are delivered is now the subject of a fierce debate in capitals across Europe and the United States.

The argument in support of 'Net Neutrality'

Since the internet was born in the mid-1990s, there’s been an egalitarian ethos -- all data, whether it comes from a lone blogger in Tajikistan or from a multinational corporation in New York, is treated equally. The telecommunications companies that deliver information to computers, phones and other internet-connected devices have not discriminated or prioritized one type of contents over another. In essence, internet service providers, known as ISPs, have stuck to the policy of "network neutrality".

 

Times have changed

Until recently, ISPs found that notion to be relatively easy to accommodate. Sending text emails and simple web pages did not place much strain on their networks, and their operating costs remained in check. Today, telecom operators like Comcast in the United States, France Telecom and Spain's Telefonica are among a growing number of ISPs who assert that, with the arrival of streaming video, internet phone calls and other data-heavy online services, their costs are skyrocketing.

The argument against 'Net Neutrality'

Now, these big companies want to change the rules. Instead of treating all internet traffic equally, they're asking their governments to give them permission to prioritize certain kinds of internet traffic over others. Companies like Google (and its subsidiary You Tube), Facebook and others major sites would have to pay to have their content delivered without interruption. Those that cannot or do not want to pay for priority delivery, would be relegated to a slower, second tier.

This move has sparked a virulent debate. Telecom operators assert the current system is not economically viable as interests groups ranging from non-profits to small businesses fear their information will be relegated to second-class status if they are unable to pay.

 

 

By Eric Olander

COMMENT(S)

Archives

2014-09-20 Twitter

Anonymous Vs ISIS

This week #TECH24 brings you an EXCLUSIVE interview with Anonymous on why (and how) the collective decided to join the fight against the 'Islamic State' Group. Also in this...

Read more

2014-09-13 technology

Back to school: French pupils get coding

French pupils are back at their desks and this year they are being thrown a whole new subject. This week's #TECH24 takes you on a visit of France's computer programming classes....

Read more

2014-08-01 technology

Smart Cities: What will the city of the future be like?

Across the world, communities are being reinvented, upgraded, or built from scratch, with the hopes of better serving residents’ needs...and those of the planet. But what will...

Read more

2014-07-24 technology

Changing the world, one video game at a time

Video games are moving out of teenage bedrooms and into the global arena as we take a look at how the form of entertainment is becoming a tool for raising awareness. We speak to...

Read more

2014-07-24 technology

Tomorrow's Transport Today

Getting from A to B, at the touch of a button: in this show we take a look at new innovations in travel. After the electric car, the driverless car and the flying car, we check...

Read more